What To Do When You Hate Yourself

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It’s so tragic to hear someone say “I hate myself.” But down deep, many people do. It seems there are so many things in this world that attack our self-esteem and sense of worth. Some people, perhaps even you, are locked in their own personal jail, full of self-loathing, desperately wanting to get out, but not believing they can.

Have you ever heard someone say they hate themselves? It might seem like they are just crying out for attention. But many times, it’s a very honest evaluation of how miserable someone feels about himself or herself, even if it sounds exaggerated or overly dramatic.

Caroline described her self-hatred like this: “For a while I hated myself because I thought I wasn’t good enough to be in this world. I thought I was ugly, stupid, and weird. I wished I could have been someone else.”

So why do people hate themselves? We took a poll on my website, and asked what reasons you might have had to hate yourself. The majority of people said it was something about their appearance, followed closely by “I didn’t feel loved,” and then “I failed at a relationship.” Each of these could be their own blogs. But for now, let’s examine what I see to be some of the greatest causes of self-hate.

When bad things happen, the worst thing you can do is
spiral down into self-pity.

Life is exhausting – When bad things happen, we often blame ourselves. It’s easy to let this blame turn into self-hatred and suck the very life out of us. This can leave us depleted of any kind of self-worth or love.

Betsy wrote: “I hated myself for a while and wished I could just disappear. I felt that I wasn’t worth anything and wondered why anyone would want to waste their time on me.”

Sometimes self-hate is nothing more than emotional exhaustion. It’s important to remember that painful, challenging, and hard times are going to happen. Sometimes you just need to give yourself a break and get some rest. You will look much better to yourself when you are rested.

Rejection or Abandonment – Everyone will experience rejection of some sort. It’s normal. But it’s difficult. Not everybody is going to love you, or accept you.
But it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, and that you should hate yourself because of it.

Tom wrote: “I used to live consumed with thoughts about what everybody else was thinking about me. I felt like people were constantly rejecting me. I imagined all the worst things, even though there was no way of actually knowing what people were thinking. I had to quit, or else I’d go crazy.”

Sometimes when people experience rejection or abandonment, they turn the responsibility onto themselves, as if they are the ones who caused the pain. Don’t let what other people think about you determine what you think of yourself. The freedom you experience when you let go of this burden, like Tom did, will give you great joy. He’s right, it’s not worth going crazy over something you really can’t control.

Thinking bad thoughts about yourself – This is kind of like self-rejection. You see something about yourself that you think is stupid or ugly and you think criticizing yourself about it will somehow make it go away. It won’t. It will actually make it worse. A lot of people feel ugly. Or fat. Or inadequate. It’s like the whole human race suffers from deep, low self-esteem.

Mona wrote: “I hate who I’ve become. I know there is a hardworking, honest, skinny person inside me somewhere, but most of the time I think about how far to the negative I’ve come, then get even angrier at myself for not working harder to become the person I know I can be.”

Why should I hate someone God loves so much? 

The fight against self-hate is an on-going battle in all of us. Some struggle with it more than others. But it seems to always be there working in the shadows, waiting to pounce on us, and take us down.  One thought that has helped me in this struggle is God’s love for me. I ask myself, “Why should I hate someone God loves so much? Why should I slap Him across the face?” He’s the one who made me, and He did it for a very special reason. There is no one else in the whole world who is just like you or me. Isn’t that incredible? That person…YOU…is worth loving.

33 Responses to "What To Do When You Hate Yourself"

  1. Gerard Posted on June 30, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    I needed this. Thankyou

    • Joey ford Posted on August 14, 2014 at 1:46 am

      Email me

  2. Kris Posted on July 7, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    That’s a great point to make, why do I hate myself so much, when God loves me unconditionally. I’ll try to keep this in mind for those very dark days I often encounter….

  3. nyarielee Posted on July 14, 2014 at 5:33 am

    I really need prayer and help though
    I loved reading this it helps thank you

  4. Karina Posted on July 16, 2014 at 3:32 am

    This didn’t help me, none of the other websites did… I don’t know what to do now knowing nothing will work..

    • Renee Posted on July 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      praying for you Karina

  5. Renee Posted on July 16, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    This was great..thank you so much for the post

  6. Nobody Posted on July 30, 2014 at 7:22 am

    This did nothing but state the obvious. I agree with Karina. It didn’t help. Self hate is not my only problem, but it’s so frustrating not really understanding what is wrong. What is going on in my head. AND WHY DO I HATE MYSELF?! I don’t really know.

    There, I have been social. Leave me alone.

  7. No one Posted on July 31, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    This didn’t help me either! It almost felt like it was rubbing salt in an already open wound. If god truly loved us we wouldn’t feel this way in the first place!

  8. K Posted on August 1, 2014 at 3:23 am

    I think if you hate yourself it is important to find out why, because self hate leads to self harm.

  9. someone Posted on August 6, 2014 at 1:20 am

    Yes, it may lead to self harm or a life time of thinking those dark thoughts. For me, self hatred has lead to a life alone. I am 48 now and live alone. I’ve let most of my friends fade away without any explaination to them. Only a few persistant friends remain. I so want to be social. I grew up good at being social and made many friends but inevitably I would say something that caused an awkward silence or something that offended someone. I would be a wreck for days, filled with self hatred…Going over and over the incident in my head all the while knowing that the incident was quickly forgotten to those who witnessed it. The self hatred is magnified 10 fold when an incident involves family. My heart hurts for all of you who suffer with this affliction because I know the depths of it. For the 1st time I have sought out therapy and it does help to get professional insite. Prayers for all.

  10. Junk Posted on August 9, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    It’ not self pity! I’m 55 and life has been bad for as long as I can remember! Nothing helps! Like the post from above said if god loved us he would make all things good after all these years and it keeps getting worse! I want out of this world! The pain is too intense! I hate opening my eyes up in the morning to face another day of disappointment, anxiety, depression, loneliness etc. EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE!

  11. someone Posted on August 11, 2014 at 8:46 am

    It is all here; God has given us everything we need to claim the wonderous, unique life that is you and me. I know God is blameless for my mortal failings. Even though my life is and has always been an embarassment to me I find some hope in knowing that God is rooting for me. My inner voice tells me do this thing or that thing because its the right thing, the right path but 9 times out of 10 I don’t. God has already given us everything we could possibly need to change our dark, self-damning thoughts to something more normal more productive and positive. I know the pain of self hatred. The only difference is that I don’t blaim God. I lean on him and pray for the courage to make a big change and he give me hope. Keep plugg’n along as I will. Its not over yet.

  12. April Jones Posted on August 14, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I thought this article was okay, until you started mentioning God.
    If there’s a God, he doesn’t love me as much as you claim he does, or else he wouldn’t make me feel this way in the first place.

    • Anonymous Catholic Posted on August 26, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      God doesn’t make you feel that way, April, though I understand where you are coming from. However, I want you to know that God gave us a gift of free will – the power to make our own decisions in terms of things like choosing to love and serve him, how we treat other people, and how we treat ourselves. Don’t think that I don’t know how you feel, because I do and am in the same boat as you. My advice to you is to turn to Him with your struggles. He loves you regardless of whether you decide to follow him or not. And if you ever feel alone – remember He is always with you.

  13. Worthy to be loved Posted on August 15, 2014 at 2:32 am

    I have struggled with negative thoughts most of my life, and self hate. I have have children now and it started to affect them because they would hear me say things against myself, to see my daughters cry and want for me to be happy changed my life. I have a husband of 14 years who has been by my side through my struggles. He loves me but often feels his love is not accepted because how can he love a woman so much who does not love her self. It hurts to be surrounded by so much love and not feel that for myself. I searched one day for the meaning of my name and ironically it means worthy to be loved which is something I never really felt. I have accepted that I am worthy to be loved and God has been so good to me but I have refuse to accept the LOVE He has for me . I’m learning to love the beauty in myself/ they are so many standards by the world I can see how we get caught up in hating ourselves/ so I am learning not judge myself by those standards and enjoy being me. There are many things that Love about me and the things that don’t like , but I’m tired of feeling sorry for myself I want to be free so it’s either STOP COMPLAINING OR DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT !!! Our pain is our testimony and with survival we can help someone thru they pain… may we send our love out not be returned voided

  14. Thomas Posted on August 15, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    God is fictitious. Challenge him once or for the rest of your life and god will loose every single time. God doesn’t help the many that die innocently. We call it the devils work if someone innocent dies yet we fail to realize that if that’s true then god doesn’t do his job. Find peace from inside and not religion. We as people do more than any religious figure could ever do.

    • Anonymous Catholic Posted on August 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      I’ll be praying for you, Thomas.

  15. anonymous Posted on August 15, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I want to be someone else who is handsome who have respect all over who is rich and he has someone special who loves him very much

    My face become horrible when i see my face i hate myself nobody wants to love me everybody make fun of me in back even god not help me am i that much bad??
    Why god do such type of injustice with me???

  16. ronak Posted on August 17, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I jst don’t know what to say.. it literally breaks me down.. that.. I jst don’t kbow how to say it.. it all started when I got in a relationship.. aftr that.. it ended in an unjustified way.. I got no resn fir it.. I was broken.. I started wruting poetry and some sorts of phrases.. to drain all my pain on the paper.. in my diary.. people soon came to know about my writings.. they started praising.. now I hv got my resn of brkup.. and she is evn back.. looks lik an happy ending.. bt for the year when she was away.. I was broken like hell… and now.. evrythng seems basically ok.. bt its not.. still everything’s wrong.. I jst don’t know.. I just hate myself.. and it’s all because of “preferences” they show as if they care.. bt I just don’t know.. nothing seems good…

  17. truth Posted on August 17, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Ronak ….Its seems you’ve given all your power to this woman. You are at her mercy. Be strong…You can survive and even thrive on your own. Let her know it or end up resenting her for possessing all the power in the relationship. Stand up and embrace yourself. You are worthy of that much. And your writings; maybe you have found it. The one thing that is unmistakably, beautifully you. Keep writing.

  18. moja Posted on August 20, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Why was i in this site..i think its because i have the same problem and CAN U BELIEVE it, i am in Tanzania
    But i think most of the people are wrong (like the above) about everything and GOD
    Though i have this problem and many other as mentioned by others, i believe GOD loved us and still love us dearly
    and gave us EVERYTHING in every possible way.
    Then if so; who is to BLAME and be BLAMED?
    ITS us human being
    Relatives, friends or supposed to be friends, society e.t.c (THE WHOLE MAN MADE HUMAN LIFE, JUDGEMENT, PRIVILEGES, PREFERENCES SYSTEM)
    IMAGINE: WHAT IF YOU LOOK LIKE GOD AND YOU DONT LIKE IT OR PEOPLE DONT LIKE IT
    Think and be positive GOD knows what is best for you and when to give IT to you( your best) AND YOU ARE NOT LOOSING ANYTHING
    BE HAPPY, find and do what makes you happy and dont think much about what they say or do abot you though first it is difficult
    ENJOY

  19. Sylvia Posted on August 21, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    I have no self convince. When im walking in the halls at school I feel like every one is saying something rude about me or how ugly iam. I don’t feel pretty I im not smart, I cant do anything right. I try to make myself feel better by thinking that a some guys think im pretty but I was worng the only guys I attract are users.

    • Carl Posted on August 22, 2014 at 3:37 am

      Chose one positive thing about your self and write it down and keep it close. Every time you feel bad about yourself read it and make yourself believe it. Change it up every so often. This is what helped me.

  20. light Posted on August 22, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    sylvia,
    when I read your post I thought…..This was me when I was in junior high and high school. I was confused about why i was filled with such self doubt and everyone else just seemed to be so sure of everything and comfortable with who they were. Does this sound familiar? At your stage in life kids are beginning to find out who they are separate from their parents. They are learning to love the little personality traits that make them unique and enjoying sharing their personalities with others. I believe that something is preventing you from seeing the unique, special person you are.
    Maybe someone close to you puts you down or maybe your blaming yourself for something that is beyond you control. In any case its time for you to move full steam ahead. Join things, volunteer somewhere, Research something you’ve always been curious about. The more things you become involved in the more life knowledge you aquire. The more you can speak about a variety of different things the more you come to know and like yourself. You certainly are not alone…….and I promise things do get better. As for the boys……just because he’s attracted to you doesn’t your attracted to him. You do the choosing not them. Oh, and one more thing. When I was young my mother always told me I wasn’t very smart. Well guess what she was wrong…..I graduated college with a masters degree. Claim your true self and your life. There is so much to look forward to.

  21. Riley Posted on August 24, 2014 at 5:51 am

    I’ve hated myself since i was in about sixth grade. I mean, I’d started to hit puberty, that didn’t really bother me, I was happy with my body but then I walked into school one day and an eighth grader called me name as I walked into school and just called me ugly and my crush was with him and they all laughed and IDK that was the beginning of it I guess. I’ve always been shy and I’ve never really been assertive. My best friend left that year for another school also and for about a month all the girls hated me and I felt so alone and I dreaded going to school i felt like sooo horrible. And then the year after that I’d gained a little weight, so I tried to starve myself and that didn’t work at all, i mean i was always too hungry to starve myself so that was stupid of me. When I got to high school I thought it would be different like different people and stuff, and it didn’t really change much. I mean, I always think to much about what others think of me, and my friend told me i’d never get a boyfriend, and I’ve never had one, no one has ever kissed me or asked me out. I felt so ugly i still feel so ugly and just stupid. I feel like i make the stupidest choices and say the stupidest stuff. My friends are only my friends when they feel like it, and that honestly makes me so sad all the time. Earlier this year it was so bad that I cried just about every night i saw no reason to do anything and I felt like people were being so mean to me at that time, but then closer to summer IDK what came over me i started to feel so much better. I felt so much better that I didn’t even notice how better I’d gotten. Every time I’d cry at night earlier this year I’d pray and ask God to help me feel better about myself. And I got better and I didn’t even notice until July and I was like oh my god i haven’t cried in forever and that felt so good! Nothing was worrying me, and now I’m starting to get back into what and i was earlier this year and I can’t imagine ever feeling 100% about myself. Especially now that I’m going to go off to college in two years. I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do for a living I kinda suck at everything :/ lol no really like i’m bad at stuff.

  22. Linda Posted on August 25, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I’m new on here. I have hated my self for as long as I can remember. I am 54 now, when will this get better.

  23. mcgooch Posted on August 26, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Hi, I have never done this before but I need help. I hate myself and it seems to be getting worse. I’m in an amazing relationship and my boyfriend loves me. But I think he’s too good for me. I think well I know I’m fat and ugly. I go to the gym and I wouldn’t say I’m the biggest girl in the world but that’s all I see when I look in the mirror. I don’t know what to do. It’s killing me everyday. I’m getting to the point where I don’t want to be here anymore.

    • Anonymous Posted on August 26, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      Instead of focusing on why you think your boyfriend is too good for you, appreciate the relationship you both share. Think about it, if he’s your boyfriend and if he feels the same way about you that you do about him, why does it matter if he’s too good for you? There are also a ton of girls in the world that would love to have a boyfriend like you do, so just remember that if out of all of those girls he has feelings for you, then you must be special.

  24. Sey Posted on August 26, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    i hate myself more than anyone all i can do is cut myself so i know im at least doing a good thing, hurting myself because i deserve it,

  25. tammy Posted on August 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I have good intentions. I compromise. I love. I laugh. I learn. I accept. I appreciate. I am treat like a doormat. I am ignored. I am abused mentally, physically and emotionally. I am constantly ripped off by people promising the earth. This has been going on for 30 years. I do not ask for this. I do not manifest this. I do not pray for this. I now have no money, home or relationship. I have a 2 year old I cant look at because of my inadequacies and she is a major reminder of them (her dad was the only one who ever loved me. I was with him for 2 glorious years. He died when I was 3 months pregnant, never seeing a scan or her face). She is confused. I am suicidal. I am good at explaining my feelings, only for them to be ignored. I know I am worth so much more, but life and others seem to differ in opinion. I have had enough. I cant breathe anymore. I cant look in the mirror without crying. I am so tempted just to give in. I just dont want to leave my daughter on her own, as an orphan and in the system. Cheers for this. I know you mean well, however sometimes it is too deep, painful and constant to face, hence the self harm, the self imposed guilt, the self imposed abuse. There is a saying that everyone cant be wrong. Everyone thinks the same about me as I do. they have their standards for me which differ from mine and I fail to achieve anything other than negativity, oppression, vile comments and physical punches, just for being me. My daughter sees all of this and I can do nothing to stop it.

    • way Posted on August 27, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Your are not trash. You are not stupid. You are not ugly. You are not invisible. You are not worthless. Your life is beautiful, wondrous, spiritual and imperfect by design. You are perfectly unique and your life, a gift not a curse. With such a precious gift we must protect it….So if you are as low as low can be then look up and reach, claw, drag your way out. Research therapy, meditation, acupuncture, yoga, bible study and what ever else you can think of that could help to deliver you to a place where you feel genuine love for yourself .. Meditation helps me. Go to a peaceful place and watch the sunset tonight and reflect on the beauty that is in you and around you. So long for now

  26. Massimo Posted on August 27, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    I prayed for all of you and will continue. We can overcome this.

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